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ActivitiesSustainable Raw Material Procurement

Outline of Activities

The Asahi Group pursues the sustainable procurement of raw materials that are friendly to the global environment and local communities.
Regarding its raw material suppliers, the Asahi Group's procurement activities comply with the Asahi Group Supplier Code of Conduct based on the Asahi Group Sustainable Procurement Principles, with the goal of achieving a sustainable supply chain.
The Asahi Group specifies the important agricultural raw materials in each of its business categories and has begun assessing the risks surrounding these important raw materials in terms of farm products and the environmental and human rights risks relating to the products' places of origin. The Asahi Group verifies information about the production sites for assessed risks, and takes appropriate actions to address these risks.

Agricultural Raw Materials (Important Raw Materials)

Alcohol Beverages Business

The Asahi Group has defined barley, corn, hops and rice as important raw materials as they are the main raw materials for Asahi Super Dry, the flagship brand of the Asahi Group, and researched the places where it procures raw materials and the places where the raw materials are made, including nearly 150 regions around the world.

Soft Drinks Business

Based on the size and range of our procurement of agricultural raw materials in the soft drinks business, the Asahi Group defined coffee, sugar (both sugar cane and sugar beet), corn, raw milk, skim milk and whole milk powder as important raw materials and researched the places where it procures raw materials from and the places where these raw materials are made, including nearly 100 regions around the world.

Food Business

The Asahi Group is also committed to choosing the important agricultural raw materials it uses in its food business in a way that ensures the sustainability of the food business.

The Asahi Group Conducts Its Research Regarding the Important Agricultural Raw Materials of Its Alcohol Beverages and Soft Drinks Businesses in the Following Areas:

Assessment of Risks in Agricultural Raw Materials

Regarding agricultural raw materials, the Asahi Group has begun assessing the environmental and human rights risks surrounding farm products and their places of origin.

Environmental Risks

The Asahi Group has divided its actions regarding these risks into three categories: (1) the evaluation of the impact of climate change through scenario analyses required by the TCFD recommendations, (2) water risk surveys evaluating impact on water resources which are essential for the growth of farm products, and (3) the evaluation of the impact of continuous agricultural production activities on biodiversity.

(1) Impact of Climate Change

Based on an array of materials, the Asahi Group estimates the change of the yields of its agricultural raw materials considering a range of factors such as the rise in the average temperature (2 °C and 4 °C scenarios), changes in precipitation patterns and the intensification of weather abnormalities.

Result of Evaluation in 2020
  • Alcohol beverages: The Asahi Group identified the possibility that climate change could significantly affect the agricultural raw materials that are important to its alcohol beverages business. The Asahi Group found that the drop in the yields of barley and corn, two agricultural raw materials, was larger in the 4 °C scenario than in the 2 °C scenario.
  • Soft drinks: The Asahi Group identified the possibility that climate change could significantly affect its soft drinks. In the 2 °C scenario, the yields of coffee and corn, two agricultural raw materials, could drop greatly, as much as 80% to 90% in some places. It was also learned that the drop in agricultural raw materials yields was larger in the 4 °C scenario than in the 2 °C scenario.
(2) Impact on Water Resources (Water Risk Survey)

The Asahi Group conducts water risk surveys because water is its most basic raw material and is also necessary for the growth of farm products.
In places where farm products are grown, the Asahi Group assess risks relating to the quantity of water (water stress, seasonal variation, the lowering of groundwater levels and other risks that may increase the difficulty of securing the water necessary to grow farm products), natural disaster risks (floods and droughts) and regulatory risks (risks of developing a reputation that may deeply impact the society, culture or human rights of people living in the basin).
The amount of water consumed in the production of farm products is calculated on the basis of water footprint and the quantities of farm products procured by region and by raw material.

Result of Evaluation in 2020
  • Alcohol beverages: The barley-growing river basins in Europe may face flood risks. There may be latent regulatory risks in the corn-growing river basins of North America.
  • Soft drinks: The coffee-growing river basins in South America may face flood risks. There may be drought-related regulatory risks in Oceania where sugarcane is grown.

The Asahi Group will stay on top of information about the places of origin and suppliers that are likely to suffer from water risks by considering the water resources and environments in these areas.

(3) Impact on Biodiversity

The Asahi Group evaluated the impact of continuous agricultural production activities on ecosystems, including the use of agrochemicals and fertilizers, and the burdens that animal excrement and other consequences of stockbreeding place on the natural environment.
Based on biodiversity hot spot data and other data, the Asahi Group also surveyed the biodiversity (the abundance of birds, mammals and amphibian and the status of endangered species in a habitat) of the sites of its agricultural raw materials surveys.

Result of Evaluation in 2020
  • Alcohol beverages: The consideration of biodiversity in relation to the environmental burdens of agricultural production areas is necessary in the barley- and hop-growing river basins in Europe and the corn-growing lake areas in North America.
  • Soft drinks: The considerations of biodiversity in relation to the environmental burdens of agricultural production areas is necessary in the coffee-growing river basins of South America and in the northern Japanese river basins where skim milk and whole milk powder are produced, provided that they are forest biospheres rich in nature.

The Asahi Group will continue to share information about the environmental risks faced by its suppliers as it works to stay on top of information about the raw materials' places of origin and their surrounding areas in terms of, for example, the richness of their biodiversity.

Human Rights Risks

The Asahi Group continues to monitor its suppliers' actions regarding labor and human rights, from the perspectives of the environment and human rights in local communities and farms.

Findings in 2020
  • The Asahi Group analyzed and assessed risks, focusing on modern slavery, based on two factors, the countries where the Asahi Group's production bases are located and the products, including the important raw materials, that it mainly procures. The Asahi Group will conduct questionnaire surveys and visit production sites that it categorizes as high-risk (in growing farm products), in a continued effort to stay on top of human rights risks and prevent and correct infringements upon human rights.
  • The Asahi Group conducted Supplier CSR Questionnaire for all of its primary suppliers of raw materials with whom it transacts continuously, to understand the status of the human rights risks and labor risks faced by these suppliers.
    In 2020, the Asahi Group joined a nonprofit organization named Sedex. Using Sedex's information platform, it will stay informed of the latent risks faced by suppliers as it maintains its commitment to human rights due diligence.
Related Pages

Main Activities

Share Information with Suppliers in Agricultural Production Areas

The Asahi Group has advanced its identification of places where the agricultural raw materials indispensable for the continuation of its operations are produced and are likely to lead to environmental issues relating to climate change, water resources (water risks) and biodiversity. Also, it has begun efforts to identify the suppliers that require on-site investigations of human rights issues, with due consideration of the state of the society surrounding the suppliers.
Based on its risk assessments, the Asahi Group shares information about the environmental and human rights risks faced by suppliers in production areas that may significantly impact its procurement of agricultural raw materials. The Asahi Group will stay on top of events in these locations by strengthening its sharing of information with its suppliers.

Support Agricultural Production Areas in Their Farming Practices

Based on the ways that risk-related information is shared with suppliers in agricultural production areas, the Asahi Group has begun community activities such as the support of farmers aimed at the creation of people-to-people connections in the farming of barley and hops, the raw materials of beer. Furthermore, research on soil-related technologies has also been initiated to increase farm product yields through the use of beer yeast cell wall materials and to achieve other goals. By supporting farmers and developing technologies in this way, the Asahi Group contributes in pursuit of the achievement of the sustainable procurement of raw materials.

Transactions with Farm Producers Certified by Third-party Agencies

The Asahi Group assess risks in its agricultural production areas. Furthermore, it establishes targets and advances activities for the procurement of palm oil, raw materials for sugar and other agricultural raw materials that are certified by third parties because of the high likelihood that these products could lead to environmental or human rights issues in the agricultural production areas.